T Nation

5x5 Progressing to 5x8


Hi Christian,

I was wondering what your opinion of this set and rep scheme was for building long lasting strength and size.

I want to start with 5x5 at approx 75% of 1rm, and slowly work up to being able to do the weight for 5 sets of 8. When I can complete all reps, add 10kg for lower body and 5kg for upper and work on slowly increasing volume. Do you think this would be a good plan for the long haul? Also it seems to be quite self regulating, as when you reach upper rep bracket, you’ve obviously gotten stronger, then you increase intensity and start again.


Yeah its a pretty common old school method and it works for sure


Appreciate you getting back to me so quickly. I always feel beat up constantly working in the 85%+ range, when instead when I’ve dialed it back and worked on volume before upping the intensity, I’ve gotten stronger and bigger.


I train the 2 strongest men in Canada… well more precisely I train them on the olympic lifts, they do their own thing for the rest of their workouts. And they do most of their work in sets of 5 and sometimes up to 8… 1, 2, 3 reps are nice to become good at displaying maximal strength, but sets of 4-5 might actually build more strength by also building muscle.